gratitude & hoopla: Today is the Day . . .

gratitude & hoopla

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

8.9.05

Today is the Day . . .

Well, as happens to all bloggers from time to time, real life has sort of interrupted blogging in the last couple of days. I hadn't intended for it to do so, but it has.

My wife and I have already said goodbye to one son this week, and this morning the other is also heading out. I am sad that they won't be near at hand, I am fearful that they won't always be ready for what life flings at them, but down beneath the sadness and the fear I am very confidant in my God. This morning in my daily Bible reading I came to chapter 8 of the Gospel of Luke. In this chapter Jesus tells the story of the four kinds of soil.
But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.
Also in chapter 8, Jesus calms a storm, casts demons out of a madman, heals a sick woman and raises to life a little girl who had died. Notice how each episode reveals a new aspect of Christ's power: power over the weather (the natural world), power over demons (the spiritual world), and power over sickness and death (the consequence of sin). The message that I take away this morning is two-sided: first, DON'T BE AFRAID. Second, BELIEVE IN THE LORD. Oh, and don't forget that word that Jesus used: PERSEVERE.

My morning Scripture reading also took me to the opening chapter of 1 Peter. Peter says we are "strangers in the world," with our hearts and minds turned toward the "living hope," the inheritance of the saints, and shielded by God during our times of trial. But trials we will have. He writes,
These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Then, a few verses later, Peter adds this imperative:
Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."
In sum: Don't be afraid. Trust God. Set your hope on the glory to come. Be prepared for whatever the world throws at you, walk in obedience, and hang in there with your faith.

Every passage of Scripture seems to me a beginning rather than an end; not like a painting on a wall, but a window into a world. A place to live and explore. A "wrinkle in time" that allows us a glimpse of the higher things that all the Biblical writers speak of. These passages from Luke and 1 Peter are not simply nuggets of wisdom, but glimpses of the very mind of God. We must not take such things lightly, but dwell on them, if we are to be the good soil that Jesus spoke of. After all, didn't Peter say (quoting Isaiah), "The word of the Lord endures forever." Plant it deep, for there is sure to be a bountiful harvest.

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